Orbit 60

Why Orbit 60? Why Now?

10 min read
Tarannum Sarang
Senior Product Manager

At Bently Nevada, we pride ourselves on our history of industry-leading machine protection and condition monitoring solutions. With over 60 years of innovation, over 100,000 rack monitoring systems, and to date over 6 million sensors deployed across the globe, we recognize that our customers have come to rely on us as their go-to source for all of their rotating equipment protection and condition monitoring needs.

The undisputed workhorse of the Bently Nevada family has been the 3500 Monitoring Series which has seen several enhancements and improvements over the past 2+ decades since its launch in 1996.  The 3500 has been deployed in several different industries and applications around the globe over the past 20 years - over 85,000 units installed and counting. 

With the advent of the 3500 Series, machinery protection and condition monitoring was taken to never before seen levels of insight, from machine diagnostics for predictive maintenance planning to better-informed asset protection measures that have saved our customers billions in downtime, lost equipment, and catastrophic consequences over the years.

Still, when we see a need to innovate, we don’t rest on our laurels. Which is why we have designed a brand new machine health monitoring and protection system from the ground up in the form of the Orbit 60 based on customer feedback and technology advancements available today.

With the introduction of the Orbit 60, many people are wondering if the 3500 is still right for them? Concerns about how long it will be supported or whether or not it will still work for their specific environment are natural and good questions to consider. Of course, we created the Orbit 60 because we saw where the world of condition monitoring was heading, and while the 3500 has been the benchmark for reliable and accurate protection and condition monitoring for decades, the underlying architecture of the 3500 means that it can only go so far with new and emerging technologies. 

Bently Nevada’s flagship monitoring system, 3500, will continue to be supported in coming years and well into the future; the 3500 is currently in full product support status, with new features and functionality in development. Any discussion around the comparison of the 3500 versus the Orbit 60 requires a working knowledge of what the Orbit 60 can do for your production environment. So here are some of the key benefits of the Orbit 60:


Security & Data Isolation


Cybersecurity has fast become one of, if not the most important area of focus when deploying new technology into a production environment. With an ever-connected workplace, and the ability to share data (and thus ostensibly, access) with partners around the globe, the issue of cyber-secure data transmission is more important now than it has ever been in the history of condition monitoring. With the Orbit 60, we have designed a platform from the ground up to take advantage of the latest innovations in cybersecurity while also leveraging a flexible architecture that ensures decades of relevance into the future. The new architecture inherent in the Orbit 60 segregates the protection and condition monitoring function, thus ensuring that an unwanted user cannot gain access to your protection/control network from your condition monitoring/ business network, which could result in a negative impact to your protection systems. In doing this, we have addressed one of the key challenges of condition monitoring, namely that in the past, it was difficult, and costly, to ensure machinery protection while providing easy access to all the available data onsite and remotely.    In addition, we’ve adopted globally-recognized standards for cybersecurity, and the Orbit 60 is designed to meet IEC 62443-4-2.   As our President, Terry Knight put it, “Even if hackers got into the condition monitoring system, they couldn’t get a signal down to the protection system. They’d have no way to communicate to the protection side of the Orbit 60.” This security feature is one of the most notable design enhancements over the 3500, something we simply could not engineer into the existing architecture.


More Data + More Insights = Better Decisioning

Data HMI System 1

The world we live in today runs off of data. And at Bently Nevada, we’ve known the power of data - good, actionable, accurate and relevant data - for decades. With the advent of the Orbit 60, we’ve built on that legacy of delivering the data you need, when you need it, so that you can make timely, actionable decisions regarding your machinery assets, and are thus empowered to make informed decisions that can turn an unplanned and costly outage into a quick, planned maintenance event. 

With the Orbit 60, you will soon be able to correlate data from all aspects of a given process into one seamless, understandable view with your condition monitoring software. This will be enabled through new features introduced into the Communication Gateway module in the Orbit 60 allowing the retrieval of high-speed process data from various connected devices; including DCS and Unit Control Systems. Once enabled, the Orbit 60 will allow you to perform state-based data collection and alarming at the hardware level while simultaneously providing a secure channel through which to share data with our award-winning software System 1 with its Bently Nevada Diagnostic HMI functionality.

Despite the complexity of all that the Orbit 60 has to offer from a data perspective, the fact is that the new design is deeply rooted in a simplification of processes, resulting in an elegant yet dynamic solution to data capture and processing in virtually any condition monitoring environment.


Industry Leading Processing Power and Channel Density

With significantly more processing power than that of industry-leading standards today as well as variable signal processing, the Orbit 60 architecture and future development roadmap will enable your production environment to cover new applications such as Torsional Vibration and Combustion Monitoring - all within the same system. While the Orbit 60 has the highest channel density of any system in the marketplace, it’s what those channels can do that also impresses, with up to 65 dynamic vibration, 100 static inputs (such as temperature) and eventual DCS integration into a single system deployment. Multiple I/O options allow for greater coverage of your machinery assets while preserving your bottom line thanks in part to simplified interfaces that work with a wide array of sensors and applications, thus reducing your spare parts inventory. Because of this approach, we can truly say that the Orbit 60 not only delivers on features but value as well by reducing the overall cost to deploy and maintain protection and condition monitoring systems now and long into the future.


Centralized and Distributed Architecture


The Orbit 60 has been designed with an innovative architecture that can bridge two bases together to create a system that can be deployed more flexibly than any other system. The architecture will eventually allow multiple chassis to be connected and distributed in both a daisy chain or star configuration. Our bridge design replicates all of your data from one bridged base to the other, maintaining data resolution to achieve full system functionality across the entirety of the distributed architecture. So whether you are looking to reduce your field wiring costs by placing Orbit 60 I/O’s right next to the machine in question, or connecting multiple assets together with shared processing and protection components back in a centralized control room environment, Orbit 60’s architecture will provide you the full flexibility you need to set up the condition monitoring system that works best for your unique applications.

Module Choices

The following modules are available for the Orbit 60 series:

  • System Interface Modules
  • Protection Processing Modules
  • Condition Monitoring Modules
  • Communication Gateway Modules
  • Bridge Modules (releasing soon)
  • Power Input Modules
  • Dynamic Input Modules
  • High-Speed Keyphasor Input Modules
  • AC LVDT Input Modules
  • Static Input Modules (Temperature, Process Variables, Discrete)
  • Recorder outputs (future release)
  • Relay Modules



System 1 Integration 

*(Bi-direction control system communication is a future release)
Orbit 60 System 1

With all of that data coming in, you need a software solution that can make sense of it, prioritize it, and report back to you in real-time so you can make immediate and informed decisions. By leveraging the power of the Condition Monitoring Module’s (CMM) secure condition monitoring data connection along with advanced signal processing, in-system data sampling, and on-device storage, an Orbit 60 deployed in conjunction with System 1 condition monitoring software will offer your environment the best view of your machinery’s health, from a plant-wide overview down to a single sensor reading. This partnership of hardware and software allows for a greater level of flexibility when it comes to data access, and further underscores the value of an Orbit 60 and System 1 solution. Additionally, System 1 users will be able to write their own rules and customize their reporting to their own needs, down to how and who is contacted in the event of an alarm trigger.

While traditional deployments of System 1 and Orbit 60 using various network topologies will continue to be supported, the system allows other installation options including a hosted System 1 installation with no on-site IT infrastructure, installations that can overcome intermittent or low-quality data connections, even remote connectivity options including cellular or WAN data connections.


Ease of Deployment

Asset Coverage

With a truly modular design approach with the Orbit 60, we’ve created a platform that handle many scenarios. No longer do you have to decide what role your condition monitoring platforms will play. With the Orbit 60, you can assign it a role in protection, in condition monitoring, or both. This inherent flexibility means that the Orbit 60 can be deployed on virtually any type of machinery, in any type of application. 

While the 3500 can support up to four Keyphasor inputs, the underlying architecture of the Orbit 60 means that there is no inherent limitation in the number of Keyphasors, allowing you to monitor complex multi-shaft machines or many smaller machines in one Orbit 60 system.  We also optimized the Orbit 60 to work with both journal and rolling element bearing (REB) applications, which means it can be used to monitor a greater selection of machines, which translates to the need for fewer dedicated monitoring platforms, and thus significant savings. Because of these design elements, the Orbit 60 can cost effectively handle anything from your largest most complicated mission critical machines to less your complex but just as important assets like motors, fans, and pumps.

Orbit 60 and 3500

For a quick, side-by-side glance into more of the key differences between the 3500 and the Orbit 60, we’ve pulled some of the key points from our downloadable infographic here:

new technology

While we are very proud of the Orbit 60 and how it can take your condition monitoring insights to the next level, we understand that the 3500 will still represent a great value for some organizations who either don’t require the flexibility and data security that the Orbit 60 offers.

We hope that this article has helped you to see some of the great innovations coming your way from Bently Nevada, and how the Orbit 60 can take your condition monitoring program to new levels of insight.

The Orbit 60 is now available to quote (ATQ) and is available to ship (ATS) as of 2021. New planned features are continuously being added as per our scheduled development roadmap.

If you would like to learn more about the Orbit 60 we have various resources available:


Additionally, please feel free to contact your sales manager to schedule a time to discuss what Orbit 60 can do for your condition monitoring program, or you can contact us here.